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WILL YOU BE MY BRUSSELS SPROUT? by Lucy Frank

WILL YOU BE MY BRUSSELS SPROUT?

By Lucy Frank

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: April 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-8234-1220-2
Publisher: Holiday House

 There are those who play the cello and there are cellists; it's the latter that Sarah, 16, aspires to with every note she plays. Then along comes David, her best friend's brother, a talented guitarist who is a Juilliard dropout. At first they share a love of music, but it isn't long before manipulative David begins to pressure Sarah for sex; she tells him, ``You're figuring out when. I'm still trying to deal with whether.'' Her music suffers as David becomes increasingly angry and controlling. When he walks out, readers momentarily believe that Sarah's sense of self-worth will be strong enough to see her through. In a final scene, David demonstrates some awareness of his flaws and blames his parents for the bully he is; Sarah is full of doubts for their future but is still willing to give it a chance. An otherwise fine novel by Frank (I Am Artichoke, 1995, not reviewed) turns into just another formulaic romance with that shockingly ambiguous ending; some readers will be left with the feeling that all the sexual stereotypes they've been taught to recognize and resist have just been reinforced--in spades. (Fiction. 12+)